Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
11 Nov

Finding the Person Within: A Mother and Daughter Journey

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Once upon what seems like a lifetime ago I was the brightest thing that walked into any room. No, I was not the thinnest, prettiest, best-dressed thing in the room – but I had an aura of pure confidence wherever my feet took me. I had a brilliant mind and unstoppable will. I had overcome so many challenges in my life – growing up with addictive parents, homeless, then eventually parentless and shipped to boarding school. I was an overcomer! The key – I LOVED myself and I feared no challenge. That is until I had my first child. I feared her. She was a challenge. No more me time, lots of her time. Lots of crying and sleepless nights as I tried to figure out this girl. She was out of control and would later be diagnosed with a form of autism. Add child 2 and 3 to the mix and this momma was DONE. Always weak, always tired, 80 lbs heavier – the girl who LOVED herself now hated every inch of her being. Parenthood felt like a failure. I started anti-depressants. Got worse. Started birth control (the Depo-shot) to even out hormones. Got drastically worse. With failing energy and a soldier as a husband who was never home I cooked from boxes and drive-thrus. I continued to get worse – and so did my little girl whose struggles caused her to not be able to be in a classroom. I was done. I felt hopeless. Was this a forever thing? Would I forever be huge and tired? Would my daughter forever be the outcast? Would I be forced to put her on some horrible mind altering meds? Something had to change.

The only thing I knew that I had control to change was our diet. So I researched. From that day on, 2 years ago this November, we have not eaten fast food. We stopped eating conventional meat and vegetables and starting buying only what we could get from local farms, meat and LOTS of vegetables and fruits. Minimally processed food and nothing with artificial dyes/preservatives/sweeteners. Within 1 month my child was COMPLETELY different! Her whole life we were poisoning her without even realizing it! As time passed and we continued to refine our diet she got even better.

Mommy got better too. As weight started to drop and I felt the hazy cloud that had covered my mind begin to lift I started to see glimpses of my vibrant past! I started exercising at a local track – my first sprint I made it about 100 meters and then proceeded to use my daughters inhaler! If I were living in primal times I would be the one that died first :)! I stuck it out though and now there is nothing athletic that I will not attempt. People thought we were crazy. We were those people with the “crazy” diet that no one had ever heard about. We were mocked. I didn’t care – the proof is in the pudding (which of course we didn’t eat!). For the first time since she was school age my little girl completed an entire year in a classroom, second grade, and the thought of having to medicate her was shoved far from our minds! [*disclaimer* I have STRONG opinions that if you have a child struggling with autism/ADD/ADHD or any other behavioral problem that it could only benefit the child to re-evaluate diet. I feel like this should always be a precursor to any decision about medication. This worked for us and allowed us to forego medication. However, at varying degrees of intensity within the spectrum I understand that this may not be a “fix-all” for every child. But I will say that I fully believe that a primal, clean, diet will definitely produce results! We are not calling our grokling “cured” but instead “managed”!]

Within a year I dropped the first 50 lbs and discovered your book and MDA! I was ECSTATIC!! First, I realized that somewhere, rooted deep inside, we all have a little Grok left. What else could explain how so many things in your book I had naturally discovered on my own. My body, all our bodies, WANT to be Grok again; NEED to be Grok again! You gave me something I needed more than anything – validation! Validation that what I was doing was right. (Even recently validating why I have an instinctive need to wrestle when I am feeling overwhelmed – I knew there was something to it!) You also provide a foundation to come to when I need some tweaks and advice and a place to put most of my curiosities to rest – because 9 times out of 10, when I have a question pop into my mind, you have answered it already somewhere on MDA. My family as a whole limit grains by the 80% rule. I strive for the 100%. Lots of good fats and great meat! My husband, who we all thought was healthy other than a borderline cholesterol level, is in the best shape of his life at 32 with a current cholesterol level that is excellent and playing on an Ultimate Frisbee team! Our entire family of 5 all participate in CrossFit. We love our box and we love the community. We make lots of time for fun – from camping to canoeing to 5k mud races – we do it all! And this Mommy is more alive than ever before! Sometimes I see myself in the mirror now and I am shocked at who I am. I ask my husband if he is shocked at the change and he always says no – that this is who I always was – hidden deep within that other person. From 201, with several health issues, to 126 with 0 health concerns – I feel GREAT! I feel whole again and my little grokling feels whole for the first time! Here’s to LOVING life and Groking on!!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. yeah…my best friend is awesome.

    skid wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • What do you know? I have an awesome best friend as well. One that was STILL my BF even when things were rough. I love her for it. She has always been a rock in my life!

      Lela wrote on November 15th, 2011
  2. This story almost made me tear up. It also makes me realize the changes that I need to make for my son. He’s incredibly bright but cannot seem to focus at all. It’s gotten a little worse lately. He has TONS of energy but it is all misplaced. He hates vegetables, and it just starting to like meat. We limit sugar dramatically – but it’s the hidden sugars that are doing him in. I think I need to suck it up and endure the few weeks of resistance that I get from him and make this change. THANK YOU for your story!

    Pamela wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • Pamela – take heart! You are exactly right – it is those hidden sugars. With patience and perseverance I am sure you can get your son turned in the right direction. Just think about the future you will be providing him! You are already an amazing mom by searching out truths to help him!

      Lela wrote on November 18th, 2011
  3. Kick ass.

    BW wrote on November 16th, 2011
  4. I have been off the wagon for about 2months now…and this just inspired me to get right back on and don’t stop because anything is possible! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us all and congrats on your success! :)

    PandaGlam wrote on November 17th, 2011
  5. That story brought tears to my eyes! Thanks for sharing.

    Elena wrote on November 19th, 2011
  6. I love stories like this that not only show how diets make us lean and strong but also heal so many of our health issues.

    I am amazed at how you look younger and younger with each photo. I also love that you discovered much of this way of eating on your own.

    Cathy wrote on December 26th, 2011
  7. Wow, now you look like your daughter’s older sister!

    Steve wrote on January 6th, 2012
  8. We also feed our children Primal, they love it and we see a huge difference, they also don’t bring home every sickness going around school anymore. We are all so much happier and reading your story was awesome. I am 26 with 4 Kids, I started eating this way last june and have lost 58lbs, I am now focused on getting more fit and toned, I go to school full time and and have slacked my workouts but am refocused. I have fought so many health issues as well and after going Primal I do not fight any of them anymore. It is a lifestyle worth living and I could never go back, thanks for sharing your story.

    Nikki wrote on March 6th, 2012
  9. Wow, truly amazing. I’ve been Primal 2 months and down 20 lbs from 170. This is the best inspiration since I’m trying to influence my grain eating family. It’s hard when I’ve been an unsuccessful yo-yo dieter and to earn their trust in what I’m suggesting we change now. Congrats on your family’s transformation!

    Ingryd wrote on May 5th, 2012
  10. Ah .. the first time I have commented on a story. I am always looking for inspiration as I still find I am no where near where I need to be … but your story brought tears to my eyes. Total inspiration. I am soo happy for you and your family. You have given me a boost of encouragement as well :)

    Jessica wrote on May 22nd, 2012
  11. Posted on LOLOL thanks for a wfuedronl story I can almost picture this unfolding, and I can see the look of dismay on your face when things start to go awry, LOL!

    Vasanth wrote on December 22nd, 2012
  12. wow you look amazing. the last picture looks like you and your younger sister.

    noz1 wrote on August 22nd, 2013
  13. I have a son that is being assessed for Asperger’s, and I noticed his behavior only worsens when I have to leave him with my mom (while I’m at work) who gives him ice cream juice soda and processed foods. When I relocated and lived with her for a few months we actually had a blow out because she swore I was punishing the kids by not buying ravioli’s in a can or the kind of cereal they like. Because they are stickler’s for routine, the more adjusted he became to those kinds of foods the more he expects them, the more hell I go through when I withhold them. Not normal tantrums, but the kind that last for hours until you wanna pull your hair out. I myself have always for years tried to maintain a diet low in sugar and grains, but only recently started moving completely away from processed foods and buying organic. Now as a sub-teacher she has encountered other children with the same behavioral problems, and now understands what a negative effect some of her snack habits have had on his behavior. She still has these main stream ideas and doesnt understand apple juice and orange juice are high in sugar or serving grits and biscuits together isnt the best combination. I’ve had to start removing certain foods from his diet at home, but now sometimes he wont eat because its not what he wants to eat. I’m hoping over time he’ll become adjusted again to REAL FOOD and eat dinners I make instead of begging for cereal non stop. But I have forbidden anymore trips to McDonald’s for french fries and ice cream cones and he’s gotten better at not freaking out when I tell him no lol.

    aiyana wrote on October 29th, 2013
  14. What an inspiration you are. I have only just read your story and am very new to primal life. It resonates with me because I have a 4 year old daughter with autism and I worry for her. Thank you I will be reading this story again and again as I struggle to make these changes for her.

    Tina wrote on October 22nd, 2014

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